Most young businesses focus solely on growth – and for good reason. Without a strong business plan and fundraising strategy in place, these early stage startups can flounder or even fail completely. One Shell LiveWIRE entrepreneur had one more top priority – a robust corporate social responsibility (CSR) approach.
Founded in 2012, Emobella Engineering Nigeria is a mechanical and electrical engineering service company focused on helping clients operate more efficiently, safely, and profitably. Their services include pipe fitting and welding, fire alarm installation, plant equipment installing, and more.
Founder Precious Adeho said the idea of Emobella came to him while he was working with Nigeria Breweries Plc and Contour Global Solutions.
“I saw a wide gap to fill in the engineering industries, especially in tank fabrication, pipe fitting, and electrical panel design and construction,” he said. “Emobella Engineering Nigeria is an indigenous engineering service company set up to address challenging issues in the engineering industry and provide quality services, reduce costs, and not compromise safety.”
Adeho joined the LiveWIRE network in 2014 when he joined the Shell LiveWIRE Nigeria training programme. It was the Shell LiveWIRE programme that first opened the door to finance.
“In the past, I had tried to raise funds but I had no collateral and the interest rate was just too high,” Adeho said. “I heard about Shell LiveWIRE, which was the first grant opportunity I ever applied for and I was selected.”
In 2017, he competed in Shell LiveWIRE’s Top Ten Innovators Competition, a global competition that highlights and rewards LiveWIRE businesses that demonstrate excellence in innovation. Emobella Engineering took home the merit award and $5,000 in prize funding.
“The Top Ten Innovators award has given the company a platform to be better known as an organization,” said Adeho.
With the award funding, Adeho completed a professional development training programme at a leading oil and gas academy in Scotland. He also used some funding to calibrate and safety test equipment, strengthening the company’s services. These improvements led to a 110% increase in revenue.
As his company grows, Adeho is determined to pay his success forward. Emobella started a CSR programme that runs several initiatives to help the local community. For instance, they have a project to help women from low-income households start their own businesses. To date, the programme has helped 20 women kickstart their business. In addition, Emobella is committed to developing the next generation of engineers through its YEFE (Youth Employability in the Field of Engineering) while the Girls in Engineering project encourages and trains more girls in science and technology fields. He’s also the founder of YESASAC, a youth skills training centre in Lagos.
For Adeho, this CSR work is a core part of his business.
“I take the CSR part of our business very seriously,” he said. “The societal problems I don’t solve today will haunt us in the future. I would rather commit to ensuring that children out of school go back to school, that we train young graduates with the technical skill set required to function in full capacity in the industry, that we encourage more girls to take up STEM studies, and that we support low income mothers as they start their businesses. This is what we are committed to.”